August 28, 2017

10 things only someone working at a funding agency will understand

Working at a funding agency comes with its own challenges. You must demonstrate the impact of your funding not only to the world, but also your forever-unimpressed boss. If your life was a Bollywood film, here’s what it might look like.

2 min read

1 a) What it feels like to review 200 proposals for funding


1 b) What nonprofits think it feels like


(A tip of the hat to the bigger, bolder films of the South)

2 a) What you say to the nonprofit after the 7th delay in submitting its annual report


2 b) What you really want to say


3) The annual ‘strategy exercise’ where the head of the agency wants to know how much impact your grants have created


4) The only story you will ever need to tell at fundraising conferences.



 5) The most common reply from nonprofits to your question, “Do you have any other funders?”

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6)  The most common reply from government officials to your question, “Can we work together?”


7) When you hire consultants to help create impact


8) What it feels like when all the funders in your sector chase that one high-profile nonprofit



 9) When the aforementioned nonprofit tells you it is going to do the Next. Big. Innovative. Thing.


10) What nonprofits say when you ask about measuring impact

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Arjav Chakravarti-Image
Arjav Chakravarti

Arjav Chakravarti is a leadership coach and the founder of Svarya. In the past, Arjav has held a variety of leadership roles across sectors such as consulting, nonprofit management, technology, and research.